consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Freedom Club chokes off Aplikowski's GOP primary victory opportunity.

The results are in, Abeler winning the GOP special election primary with 61 percent of the vote.

Freedom Club's first mailer was downright awful, offending many, and they put up the hate-Abeler site on top of that. Then on election day, an email mailer, as below, saying elect Aplikowski, but having each bullet point aimed at trashing Abeler. Each. Each of five bullet points beginning "Abeler ..." or "Jim Abeler ...".

Never a Freedom Club thought to say anything good about Aplikowski. Just trash, trash, trash. They really hurt Andy by doing that. At the LWV candidate forum Andy had to expressly distance himself from their awfulness. It was sad to have to see him disclaim connections to that mud slinging stuff.

The only thing I can figure from the ward/precinct results, is Freedom Club did not send their negative mailers or negative election day email into Andover.

And Andy hurt himself. By telling the truth. Straitjacketing himself before the election to that silly Taxpayers League pledge stuff, and then making it a point to emphasize that he'd done precisely that. Then, by exposing his extremism on that litmus paper thing he submitted to whomever it was, that posed their queer litmus paper test questionaire to him, Freedom Club, the local GOP, whomever:

People do not want that kind of intrusion-into-the-lives-of-others extremism. A minority may, saying care for the embryo but then throw sentient daily suffering adults less fortunate than Harold Hamilton to the wolves. Take away social security from the old, Medicaid from the infirm. Government is not for that level of nastiness, as Sanders says quoting King, welfare for the rich and rugged individualism for the poor, that is simply wrong however it's woofed out to the public. It's a politics that has got all its priorities turned upside down. Most people can recognize that, and shy away from such extreme viewpoints.

The Dave Thompsons of the world have limited appeal. Surely not majority appeal. Andy should have seen this, but at least he was honest about what folks would get if electing him. In a way you have to respect the sheer honesty of "this is what you face if you elect me." He did not dissemble one bit as too many politicians willingly do. He was fair in showing who he was. Fair in doing that.

And he may run the identical campaign after the balance of the vacated SD35 term runs its course and the seat is again up for election. Hopefully so, instead of playing politics by softening the message unless he also softens his heart to what most people feel and want in government.

On that questionaire about the one most sensible thing Andy said was he'd curb the excesses of Met Council. Except he did not say that. He said he'd eliminate it. Throw out both baby and bathwater.

That thing is captioned "ANDY APLIKOWSKI - Candidate Responses — Senate District 35" suggesting an ambiguity. Was it the current SD35 GOP wanting unelectable candidates, but of litmus test "purity;" or was it Freedom Club or some other outside operation submitting a put-it-on-paper thing before any commitment of support? That part, whose questionaire, remains unanswered.

__________FURTHER UPDATE___________
LINKS: Andy has shown respect for his voters and the election process, per his latest item on his campaign site, this "Thank You" link. Or, with site traffic up this morning access can be difficult, so you also can try Andy's main site link:

Note, please, the last paragraph. Andy invested in his candidacy, as all candidates unfortunately must, and his asking help from those who supported and encouraged him to run, in now lessening the debt the campaign owes him, is very appropriate. Those wanting him to run and win should not now turn their backs and move on. It is only proper that his backers heed that "secure contribution" link, and pony up. He deserves that.

ABC Newspapers, here, publishes a brief report online of the GOP primary special election result. Noteworthy there, low turnout as a factor making extrapolation into the future, the 2016 November election, difficult; Mandy Moran-Froemming in her report for ABC online noting:

Just over 60 percent of voters favored Abeler, who had 2,817 votes cast in his favor, compared to 1807 for Aplikowski, according to unofficial election results.

Abeler will go up against Democrat Roger Johnson in the Feb. 9 special election.

[...] Senate District 35 includes Andover, Anoka, Ramsey and a small part of Coon Rapids.

According to the Minnesota Secretary of State, there are 48,624 registered voters in Senate District 35.

Working the numbers, including the handful that voted the uncontested DFL ballot side, shows a total of 4906 voters turned out, from the 48,624 registered voters that ABC noted. That is a 10% turnout, only, with the only contest on the GOP side.

The low overall turnout suggests few DFL voters bothered to turn out either in support of an uncontested candidate, or to cross over and vote the GOP ballot side. The result, among those who cared to brave sub-zero wind chills, suggests that dedicated GOP voters are not as extreme as much popular talk might suggest, or that the zealots when the time to show up and be counted arrived, were not brave-hearted enough to get to the polls on a chilly winter day.

Andy's getting the GOP Inner Party endorsement salute and losing at the polls is akin to the same faction of GOP people opting among multiple choices for Ted Cruz within Inner Party ranks; i.e., a current Inner Party extremism suggesting the GOP Inner Party is out of touch with voters who consider themselves Republicans in the more traditional sense. Ditto the way that both controversial ballot proposals flopped and backfired against the zealots pushing that agenda in 2014 November voting. It is as if a handful of highly opinionated individuals presently are working the Minnesota GOP levers, and unlike Republicans within the general populace, they are not Dave Durenburger Republicans, nor Gary Laidig Republicans.

From outside that GOP tent, I view it as the inmates running the asylum; but opinions can differ.

Andy has not yet resumed his Residual Forces blogging, and would not be expected to this soon after the primary, but the hope is that he will, in time, resume posting. His ongoing posting, while personal, has been illuminating of thinking and feelings among a major part of today's GOP party in the north metro. In that sense he has been a barometer of things to anticipate and understand among his like-minded GOP colleagues.

Reflections in Ramsey has nothing new, today, to offer.

The Freedom Club elitists likely have moved on to other mischief and self-congratulation. They likely will not meddle further, for or against Abeler any more before Feb. 9, and Abeler likely would prefer things that way.

GOP St. Cloud area blogger Gary Gross at Let Freedom Ring Blog has been largely silent about the SD35 contest, and has no post about the low turnout or the result.

Strib, after having endorsed Abeler (and wrongly stating Phelps would be on the primary ballot - not so, but he will be on the final special election ballot Feb. 9), like ABC Newspapers has only a brief item online, indeed more brief than ABC reported after declining any primary endorsement.

Dan Burns at MPP has also reported, this link. Burns' post clearly notes he shares with Crabgrass a belief that Roger Johnson will be the better choice, Feb. 9. He also quite specifically noted how surprisingly low a turnout the hotly contested GOP ballot side actually yielded; although he characterized it as to be expected, for mid-winter specials.

A last point worth noting, there will not be any further LWV special election forum. The link atop the sidebar at this point to the LWV video item online, is where the final election contestants: Roger Johnson, DFL; Jim Abeler, GOP; and Zach Phelps, Legal Marijuana Now, are on record at the same venue together and apart from what each may separately publish on campaign websites, Facebook, or otherwise.

That about wraps up Crabgrass posting about the pre-primary DFL and GOP status in SD35. EXCEPT, again, if you were any part of encouraging Andy's run, pony up to share the load; again, here, for that "secure donation" suggestion.

Having been a council candidate in Ramsey years ago, and getting around a 45% losing share both times, I am in sympathy with the work and money Andy put into things only to lose, and I hence am wholly in tune with his getting post-primary help from his part of the GOP inner ranks and electorate, on the cost of the contest.

They should not hang Andy out to dry simply because someone else got more votes. I'd like it if Jen and Harry hosted another fund raiser and Downey again attended, this time as a debt retirement gesture. It would be appropriate. And decent.

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Whoever fed Andy that awful litmus test qustionaire surely should help the man retire his post-election debt. They put him behind the eight ball that way, so step up to the plate. Ditto Tax Payer League and their dumb pledge. Yes, nobody forced Andy to either position, but complicity is complicity.

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
PiPress coverage, here. Without any attention to the exceptionally low turnout, the PiPress authors reconstruct ward/precinct data, while noting

Abeler, a chiropractor from Anoka, easily bested activist Andy Aplikowski, who had Republican Party endorsement as well as support from outside conservative groups. But that made little difference.

Indeed, "support from outside conservative groups."

With mud-slinging friends like Freedom Club, who needs enemies?

FURTHER: All that PiPress navel gazing, and then not noting that the NRA declined to mail out orange cards with "Aplikowski" printed on them. I expect Andy expected that kind of boost, and might now treat it as a learning experience. NRA only sends out the orange cards when the contest is between a Democrat and a Republican and every time they send the card listing the Republican. Between two Republicans, one rabidly pro-gun, they take a hike.

FURTHER: On, with friends like this, who needs enemies: The Ramsey Reflector, with the last minute Abeler-Jim Deal trashing obsession, never once wrote the word "Aplikowski," much less having a kind word for Andy. The only thing that anonymous jackass published was a scanned image with a bad picture of Andy, and text, "Too extreme for our families." No effort to refute that by talking up positives about Andy, intent instead on the message,

Jim Deal = Satan

and damn any consequences that kind of stuff had on Andy's chances.

If anybody owes Aplikowski campaign debt contributions, it's that town clown. Will it happen? That is Andy's worry, not mine.

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
FREEDOM CLUB: Yesterday's mail, delivered at about 4 pm, Jan. 14, 2016, contained the final Freedom Club mailing favoring Aplikowski for the Jan. 12 election. Not only are they self-congratulating, they're two days late, and several votes short. May they continue their inefficiency, because if efficient their nuisance would be greater.

And what had the illustrious west metro Brahmans to say in favor of voting Aplikowski? Front side, "Support the ONLY Republican Endorsed Candidate Andy Aplikowski." Backside, "The ONLY Republican endorsed candidate"

Well, around 200 to 300 Republican Inner Party Brahmans themselves divided, took several ballots, to produce an endorsement.


____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Andy's already noted campaign site closing post

states in relevant part:

Thank you to everyone who voted today. You took part in a process that men and women sacrifice their lives for, and it was a privilege to participate as a candidate. I congratulate Jim Abeler on a hard fought win. Thank you to the BPOU, volunteers, and the delegates for their help to defend the endorsement, you should be proud of the campaign we put together and ran in such a short timeline and against the odds we almost pulled it off.

[...] I put my heart and soul, and many funds into this campaign. If you want to help relieve the debt, donate securely online.

[link in original]

An email sent me noted Andy has posted on Facebook:

I woke up 2 hours before my alarm this morning. Can't sleep. My mind is stuck thinking about what I could have done differently. I'm even more upset than yesterday. I'm ashamed that I let so many people down in this district. But I'm more ashamed that so many people let me down.
9 Likes 24 Comments

As one without a Facebook account by conscious choice, I was unable to access comments, nor would they likely be substantial or even marginally relevant.

On the surface, the thank you, and the "I'm more ashamed that so many people let me down" comment ring contradictory, and shame is a personal feeling about personal things where in that last comment "pissed off" might be the more accurate characterization. Perhaps "ashamed" for having trusted wrongly was the intent.

In any event, nobody but Andy made Andy's decisions, from testing a toe in the waters to deciding to run against Abeler and all the unlikelihood of victory that entailed, in a GOP primary, to trusting Freedom Club and being as bluntly adamant as he was in lockstep with Freedom Club on the right-to-work assault against collective bargaining effectivenes for both sides in a labor contract negotiation. It seems Andy got bad advice and took it, but again nobody but Andy ultimately is to blame for that decision making.

What Andy "could have done differently" opens a vast set of possibility, including would it have made any difference anyway, but one thing stands out. With friends like Freedom Club Andy needed no enemies and one clear thing he might have done differently would have been to have told Freedom Club to fuck off. That would have been an admirable stance in my view.

Yes, they subsidized his mailings opportunity, but Andy straitjacketed himself into their union-hating union-bating evil, and that likely was little help to him. He should have thought out all the implications of marching in lockstep with Bob Cummins' hopes to destroy union effectiveness, to have weighed whether that kind of frontal assault against DFL interests in ways which might have encouraged cross-over voting was, in fact, a sound political strategy. Moreover, in the context of labor law balancing as it stands, is a radical right to work departure from the status quo in Minnesota in any way a sound thought? Is pushing such a change agenda something that polarizes things more, or lessens negativism and government ineffectiveness instead? Many see it as needlessly polarizing and exceptionally insulting to workers. To All workers. To anybody not clipping bond coupons or otherwise living solely off earnings of capital, having to labor somehow, somewhere, and having to view concerted effort among ultra wealthy folks to undermine that necessity. To see counterpoised naked greed on the part of the most privileged among us, to foster their advantage, damn the cost and consequences to the remainder of society. Insulting to workers having to see and suffer such a level of greed.

As it is, the surprisingly low turnout suggests cross-over unfortunately was minimal, and Abeler Republicans simply outweigh and outnumber SD35 extremist Republicans.

IN SUMMARY: Undermining existing labor law balances to an extremist degree and not being in favor of a better livable minimum wage is unsound, particularly for a trailer camp landlord having to collect monthly rent from some folks who'd rather live elsewhere but have trouble scraping together rent money as it is. A better wage floor for Andy's tenants would have been a campaign stance working to Andy's advantage, and to his tenants' advantage too.

Again the people who jollied Andy along into investing money and grief into running against Abeler on the platform Andy advanced owe him one more fundraiser.

I hope they deliver.

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